Renata Voracova: Czech player caught in Australian dispute over vaccine status hopes Novak Djokovic can play


Like Djokovic, doubles specialist Voracova had obtained a medical exemption to participate in the Australian Open although she had not been vaccinated against Covid-19.

The exemption was granted on the grounds that the 38-year-old had contracted the virus last month, which she said had prevented her from getting the vaccine, along with other medical issues.

“It’s a good thing not only for him. I hope he can play. Because that’s what we went there for: to play tennis and not to participate in indoor games. “Voracova, who plans to be vaccinated against Covid-19 in the future, told Reuters.

Voracova was already playing a tournament in Melbourne when his medical exemption was again reviewed by authorities following the cancellation of Djokovic’s visa by Australian border forces authorities, as the Serb had arrived in the country without being fully vaccinated. against Covid-19 – which is a prerequisite for all foreigners to be able to enter the country without having to self-quarantine, unless they have a valid medical exemption.

The Serbian world number one had been held in a government detention hotel in Melbourne for five days before he won an appeal against the cancellation of the visa Monday, allowing him to resume training before the Australian Open which begins on January 17.

Voracova was arrested last Thursday in the same hotel as Djokovic before leaving the country on Saturday.

Speaking to Reuters on a video call, Voracova said she had gone through immigration without encountering any problems and believed she would have competed in the Australian Open if the fury over Djokovic’s visa and of his vaccination status had not broken out.

“I was already there for a week and since he arrived things have changed,” she said. “I’m not mad at him.

“I’m really sad that this has happened. This is one of the biggest tournaments. You go there and it happens. You can’t even imagine it’s possible in the 21st century to happen in this country. . “

Like an action movie

Voracova, ranked 82nd in doubles, said she felt like she was in the middle of an action movie when she was escorted from the hotel she was staying at.

“We didn’t even use the normal elevators. We took side elevators and different routes (through the hotel) where people couldn’t see me. And then we went to the garage where there was a pickup truck, ”she said.

The interrogation lasted about six hours. She said she did not appeal the decision to withdraw her visa because she was not aware of all the legal implications.

“I really didn’t know after asking what I was supposed to do, what my rights are. There were people with me from Tennis Australia, lawyers helping me. And they didn’t appeal to the courts. courts. So I didn’t do it know I could do it. I just followed the advice they give me, “she said.

She said the windows in her room at the government hotel were locked and people were guarding the hallways between the rooms. Having no chance to train, she chose to leave Australia.

“It’s a great relief that I’m finally home. During the day (there) I didn’t really feel good, I couldn’t sleep at all, and I didn’t eat much,” he said. she declared.

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